Day in the Life of James Howarth | Commercial Recycling News

Introducing James Howarth… our new Managing Director

During May, we welcomed James Howarth as our new Managing Director. So it would only be fitting to introduce him to you as part of this month’s ‘Day in the Life’ series. We caught up with him to ask him some quick fire questions…

How did your career in this industry start?

Well the door into this career was my university course; I went to university and studied Environmental Science as an undergraduate.

From there, I initially ended up in the chemical industry, after a year in industry I decided to go travelling for 6 months. When I got back from travelling, I commenced my career in the waste industry starting with a spell in local government, where I worked on establishing waste education and kerbside recycling services across three different authorities over 6 years.

I left local government to move into the private sector at what was then known as SITA, more recently known as SUEZ R&R. I started as a Commercial Manager responsible for sourcing materials and developing exit routes for those materials. This was followed by a move into operations managing a variety of different waste processing facilities along the south coast for 10 years.

More recently I moved to Avon Material Supplies (AMS) as Project Development Manager and used my skills to develop new disposal opportunities, set up the AMS Concrete business and implement new processes throughout AMS. During this time much of my work crossed over into the closely associated company Commercial Recycling (Southern) Ltd (CRSL) who were responsible for operating the new disposal facilities.

What will your new role involve?

Stepping into the role of Managing Director, I will be leading the growth and development of AMS, and associated company CRSL, to maintain our position as leading independent waste management, aggregate and concrete companies.

I am a hands-on Managing Director, so I will spend time going out to meet prospective customers to do site visits and discussing their needs with them and supporting the operational teams at AMS and CRSL.

What excites you about working with CRSL?

I am excited to lead our existing team. We have a great group of people who work hard to educate people about separating, recycling and managing waste.

I am excited at being given the opportunity to lead and further develop CRSL and AMS and particularly look forward to working with the existing teams and new staff members as we grow and develop the businesses.

We have a number of excellent services that help anyone from business and tradespeople to the individual just completing a small DIY project, so I am excited to continue those services.

For me, the most exciting thing about working with CRSL is the future assets and resources available. There are so many business opportunities out there that could really make a difference to people. For example, we are working with farmers and landowners to ensure their land and processes are meeting the new regulations around the spread of slurry and the impact the nitrate levels have on the surrounding environment. This means that they don’t have to worry about their environmental impact and can get on with the rest of their work.

What’s the most exciting work project you’ve been involved in?

As I have said, I am, and have been working across both Commercial Recycling and Avon Material Supplies. For me, the most exciting project that I have been part of was setting up the AMS Concrete business. This included getting the volumetric lorries on the road and building the first of several static concrete batching plants. This was a totally new area for me to be involved in, so it meant a lot of learning!

What do you hope to achieve for AMS/CRSL in the next 5 years?

I ultimately want to continue to develop the businesses so that they remain as leading independent waste, aggregate and concrete companies.

A big focus of mine will be to continue to increase the recycling rates and product yield as much as possible, recovering all the waste aggregates which are then crushed, washed and screened for AMS to sell. However, we still see some of general waste ultimately going to landfill, so I would like to see that reduced as we work towards our target of “zero waste to landfill”.

While looking to increase recycling, I will be working to expand the AMS Concrete business, so that we can batch and deliver more of our BSI accredited concrete to local tradesmen and individuals.

Could we help you?

Commercial Recycling and Avon Material Supplies have a range of services that are suitable for both individuals, and businesses. From easy waste collection and waste management services, to aggregate and concrete deliveries or collections we can find a solution for your needs.

Contact James to discuss your requirements on 01202 579579 or email

Let's work together